I enjoyed another espresso courtesy of Genentech/Roche who are the makers of Rituxan, one of my current RA meds. I guess I paid for that coffee many times over! In addition to working the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation booth, I attended several excellent sessions and browsed the poster presentations. Here are several keys ideas I gleaned from the day and more details will follow over the next few weeks as I digest information.
- Dr. Atul Butte from Stanford University gave a brilliant talk about how the information age stands to completely transform medicine and drug development.
- There is a “patent cliff” coming soon where many current pharmaceutical companies will loose patents on drugs (see this earlier post). The question remains about who will develop new drugs after this happens.
- Huge online databases may be able to help identify genes connected to diseases (diagnostics) and be used to develop new drugs (therapeutics).
- Patient self-assessments of RA symptoms align with rheumatologist assessments about 50-70% of the time. Questions remain about where they disagree.
- There are several new RA drugs in phase III clinical trials that may make it to market soon.
Another update will come after tomorrow.